free software and priorities // Discussion Digest, Vol 57, Issue 17

Alfred M. Szmidt ams at
Mon Oct 1 17:55:07 UTC 2007

   > I wonder why it matters if the backend is free software or
   > not. It's a service, and the free software backed can be tweaked
   > any way the service owner wants to. This also applies to the
   > squirellmail frontend: the hoster tweaks it. The end-user don't.
   > I'm also sure that there are large portions of Gmail that are
   > open source.  Probably all the servers run Apache. Google is well
   > known for using a lot of Python: free software. They provide a
   > service backed by free software.

   It matters because then we can find and fix many bugs, or adapt the
   software to our needs, and share the improvements with the service
   provider and anyone else we want to.  This means it helps everyone, at
   least for well-run projects, unlike GNU Mailman where patches get
   ignored for years:

Would you like to help with developing mailman? Complaining to people
who do not maintain mailman will not help making mailman better.

More information about the Discussion mailing list